Friday, August 31, 2012

All I can really say is that I made it. 

This week was hard. Which is sort of fitting since it marks exactly one month since my school year started (the teaching part at least). 

The week began with me curled up on the floor of our bathroom with a horrible case of stomach flu, if that's any indication of how awesome this week was. The week in its entirety was definitely a low point that was, in a sense, a long time coming. I'm pretty sure I'm running dangerously close to getting burned out at my new job. Suffice to say, I'm working harder than I did as a first year teacher, and something has to give. I'll just have to hope that it will start to get better eventually. 

In any event, attending a happy hour with the other new ASU faculty tonight was a very lovely highlight in an otherwise pretty awful week. It's so nice to spend time with a bunch of other people who are in the same situation - brand new to the area and just starting a new job. There are 4 other new faculty besides Ed, and one 3rd year faculty who joined us. We went to the place Ed and I visited two weeks ago, this great pizza and wine bar on "Mill Ave." (ASU's downtown). 

My brother-in-law (Ed's brother) Tom and his fiancee, Erma, are arriving tomorrow for the weekend, which should be fun! We're also "celebrating" 5 years since the day we met tomorrow (which we just realized yesterday), so we're hoping to go out to dinner and possibly a moving in the evening to celebrate. Hopefully I can take at least a day off of work and get some rest :).

Since I haven't gotten a chance to share these yet, here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks.

First, Ed's first office!

It may not be huge, but it has a window and is all his. Ed's asked for some help decorating it to make it feel a bi more homey :). 

Ed also went running here, the Superstition Mountains, last weekend. He's done a very good job exploring!

Ed made us a lovely breakfast, too (obviously before I was sick!). It's really fun to do the same kind of things we used to do back in Campbell, in our new home. 

Fingers crossed this weekend will be revitalizing and next week will be much better than this one. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Touch of California

Can you spot something new in our living room?

 We finally hung our posters! California is here in Arizona at last.

We bought these right before we moved, and love how perfect they look in this room It's so nice to keep California close at hand.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Room of our Own

When we moved into this home, we were very thankful that it was a home that wouldn't require a lot of work. We knew we'd be busy and didn't really want more on our plate.

However, we did know that this room would need to be painted. What we didn't know until we moved in was that there were also repairs to be done. Those heavy draperies were hiding some serious cracks that needed to be addressed.

Having her furniture out was the first step towards reclaiming this room, but it still looked way too much not our style. I begged Ed to pull those draperies down and I single-handedly tackled that chair rail, pulling it all out myself.

Since we weren't able to start until after I began working, it was a slow process. I.e. one wall at a time. Ed and I were a good team, through the almost month long process. It worked well, since our couches weren't due to arrive until September.

However, we got a bit of motivation this past week when we found out our couches would be delivered on  Tuesday! We now needed to immediately get this finished. We spent most of the weekend doing the last two walls (the trickest  because they had the most patches to do). Then, Monday, we were up until 11:30pm painting the baseboards and cleaning up. 

So, so tired for work, especially since my Tuesday at work started at a little before 7am and lasted until 7:15pm. It was a very, very long day. 

But, it was all worth it to come home to this:

Granted, we need to do some finishing tougher like hang prints on the walls, get a rug for under the dining room table, and maybe a different one for the couches. Nonetheless, it's finally a room andy it finally feels like us. We both love our new furniture, and are really happy with our choice to go with the two chairs along with the couch. It feels so grown up to have pretty living room furniture.

The paint color also looks great with our dining set, that we were thrilled to finally re-establish in its rightful place in the dining room (it had been living by our family room couches the past month, with the chairs strewn about by the front door. We're debating about a mirror behind the table, but aren't totally sure yet.

We broke the table in immediately, as Ed had an amazing dinner waiting for me when I got home. We can't wait to host people (i.e. make some friends) so that we can fill up the table :).

After dinner, we sat on the couch and just reflected on this continuous journey of home ownership. This feels like a big landmark for us. From here on out, it's just some finishing touches with furniture and decoration. Eventually we want to paint other rooms, but for now, we feel quite content.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Flashing Back:San Francisco Trip, Plus Father's Day!

Continuing in the better late than never vein, here are some more pictures from Ed's graduation weekend.

We started the Saturday with a lovely Father's Day breakfast at Los Gatos Cafe (thanks Ed for taking the picture!)

Afterwards, the parents/grown ups went off on their adventures, while the "kids" (i.e. Noemi, Keven, Kortney, Ed and myself) headed to SF.

We parked nearish the presidio, and headed off to a walk over the Golden  Gate.

Needless to say, it was a beautiful day.

Before we knew it, we were created with the quintessential view.

There were so many great updates for the bridge's anniversary that were fun to try out, like this bridge that showed how much wind pressure the bridge could withstand.

When we got closer, there were beautiful flower displays. 

Even though I've run over it so many times, it was a little freakier walking over it. You could really feel each little rock and bump!

We distracted ourselves by taking pictures.

Great reflections...

We made it about 2/3 of the way before we decided to turn back. Lunch was calling our name.

From here, we jumped on a bus that took us to Fort Mason, and we headed off for another walk (part of my old favorite run loop).

It was such a warm, beautiful day - one of the few truly "summery" days I've experienced in S.F.

There were lots of people out enjoying the "beach".

For our "last" meal in SF, we headed to Boudin Bakery, which was perfect. So many good memories of Boudin from when I was a kid.

Our final stop was Pier 39, of course :).

No Ghirardelli for us (seeing as how Kort, Ed and I had gone to Monterey the previous weekend and shared two Ghirardelli sundaes between the three of us). 

By the time we headed back to the car, we'd walked about 6 miles and had a wonderful city day.

When we arrived home, it was time for one last big family dinner at our apartment (so funny to see pictures of it now that we're in our significantly more spacious home!).

And with a beautiful sunset, a perfect day was complete.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Welcome to Real Life

Three days into teaching and almost two weeks into officially working, and we're starting to discover our new normal. Life these days is so busy with school, but feels so much more like real life, instead of the limbo we were existing in. 

Granted, teaching is a bit tougher here. Mostly because our schedule is very different from what I'm used to. The day starts at 9am, the kids get lunch "recess" from 12:10 - 12:25 and then lunch from 12:25 - 12:45. Then back to class. The day ends at 3:40. 

If you noticed something lacking, you'd be right. The kids get no real recess! Now, I was originally outraged because they had such little play time. However, 3 days in, I've discovered the real issue. Imagine you are at your job, and you are told you need to stay in your seat and work for over three hours. You are not allowed any breaks for food or bathroom. Oh, and it's 115 degrees outside, so you need to be constantly drinking water.

(my car after work)

See the issue? Can you imagine telling an adult they can only use the bathroom every 3+ hours? It's driving me crazy - yesterday 24 kids went to the bathroom during class time. Today, I decided to take the kids to the bathroom to avoid the revolving door this afternoon. It took 15 minutes. Even worse is that if it's over 110, the kids can't play outside (though can you imagine sending kids outside if it was 108 in California?). So, they are stuck inside in a windowless room basically all day, so they aren't even getting a real recess.

Other than that, and having to teach language arts and math in the afternoon (after said lack of breaks and being stuck inside), it's not so bad. Luckily, the kids are super cute, each day is getting better and better with them. teaching is so much fun, that I can *almost* handle kids asking to use the bathroom every two minutes (and having to stay at work until 4:30). 

Something else that makes life lovely? This:

This pool has been the loveliest surprise of our home. We've gone swimming just about every day. Even when it's 110, the pool feels really nice and totally refreshes me after work. I'm up to swimming 25 minutes at a time. I was swimming what sounded impressive - 40 laps, until I actually timed it and found out it was a 12 minute workout. So, I'm up to 80 laps. Ideally I think 30 minutes would be perfect :).

The other part that has been great? Our home is starting to actually shape up. Case in point? Our painting has actually progressed! I wish I'd taken these pictures in the light, but these still give you a good idea.

We love our paint color! It just makes the whole space so much more beautiful.

In this light it looks almost green, but in daytime it's more blue. It also goes perfectly with our new prints.

The other side of the room? Not so hot. We're hoping to paint the big wall this weekend.

Our other new excitement happened today. We finally got our couches! How, after professing a hatred of all things leather, we ended up with two massive leather sofas is beyond me. Though, I must say, they fill the space quite nicely and look great in here. I do love that they're recliners, too!

And, we've finally hung/placed our things in our nooks to make our family room really ours.

This weekend, we're even talking about taking a day trip, just like we would in California. 

Settling into old habits (and new ones) never felt so good.